ANDREW HILL — Passing Ships (review)

ANDREW HILL — Passing Ships album cover Album · 2003 · Progressive Big Band Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Passing ships is a slice of modern jazz that belongs In every fans collection. A session from 1969 that sat in the vaults unreleased until 2003, If memory serves me, Producer Michael Cuscuna had heard about this rumored session for years, but Andrew kept saying it sounded awful and it wasn't worthy of release, As it turned out, the problem was the Session reals were missing a track or 2, but finally, the entire session tapes were found, and Cuscuna was blown away by the sound and the performance I have to say there really are some great compositions on Passing Ships, The title track for one, as well as "Noon Tide" the lightly funky "Plantation Bag" and "The Brown Queen". Another treat from Passing Ships is the criminally underrated saxophonist Joe Farrell and the equally unappreciated Dizzy Reece on trumpet, Woody Shaw too, all three fire off some fantastic solos throughout the session, Ron Carter also provides a solid elastic foundation on bass, much like his work with the Davis Quintet. A large band on display, with Howard Johnson on Tuba, Julian Priester on Trombone and Bob Northern on French Horn, A lot of colors flourish throughout Passing Ships, Sometimes the arrangements feel like a band twice its size. Lenny White also provides solid drum work on the album, only his second ever recording session! Another interesting thing about passing ships, at the time of its release in 2003, Andrew was just starting to get back into this style again, he had released Dusk in 1999 and A Beautiful Day in 2002, so when Passing Ships Came out it was sort of a Rosetta Stone to those great albums, Those albums, along with Passing Ships, were some of the first real challenging Modern Jazz albums I got into out side of the Davis Coltrane sphere, and remain some of my favorites, All of Hill's Blue Note's are well worth a listen as well. Passing Ships might be hard to find at a decent price, It was a limited edition in 2003, and now long out of print, I have always wished that they would release Passing Ships On vinyl. You can check it out on you tube though.
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Matt wrote:
more than 2 years ago
One of my Andrew Hill faves too.......but they nearly all are my faves from Blue Note


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